UPDATE: APP cuts down accusations of policy violation with TFT report
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) has issued a report with The Forest Trust (TFT) which claims to disprove allegations that the company violated its Forest Moratorium.
The report has been issued following a complaint received from a consortium of local NGOs that two of its suppliers were clearing natural forest in West Kalimantan Province, in direct contradiction to the APP's Forest Conservation Policy announced on 5 February.
Yesterday, APP responded to further allegations by WWF that the logging company's deforestation policy will not provide "any real conservation benefits".
According to analysis released yesterday by Eyes on the Forest (EoF), a coalition of environmental organisations, including WWF, Jikalahari and Walhi Riau, the policy protects "at most 5,000 hectares of natural forest".
APP has carried out an investigation, along with TFT, into the allegations, and has today published the findings. The two allegations made are related to activities carried out by DTK (PT Daya Tani Kalbar) and ATP (PT Asia Tani Persada), both of which are suppliers to APP.
According to the report, in both cases, there was clearance of natural forest being undertaken, but it claims that in neither incident was "the clearance related to APP".
However, concerns over a concession overlap in both cases has been highlighted, which the report accounts for. DTK says clearance was for the development of a palm oil plantation owned by the company, Gerbang Benua Raya (GBR). The report showed that there was evidence of old land clearance and oil palms that are about 18-months old.
In the case of ATP, TFT found canal construction through forested peatland, being carried out on behalf of a Bauxite mining business, Karya Utama Tambang Jaya (KUTJ), a company also unrelated to APP. Additionally, this activity is taking place outside the APP moratorium area, according to mapping data.
The report states: "In neither case is there any evidence of cross-ownership between APP's suppliers and both companies (GBR and KUTJ). APP and TFT are therefore confident, based on the evidence in the report, that on this occasion the allegations made that suppliers were in breach of the APP Forest Conservation Policy are unfounded".
APP's managing director of sustainability, Aida Greenbury, said: "We committed to full transparency and to independent investigation through our Grievance Protocol of any alleged breach in our moratorium on natural forest clearance".